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Opposition Calls for Parliament Debate on Land Transfer to Azerbaijan from Armenia’s Tavush Province

Opposition Calls for Parliament Debate on Land Transfer to Azerbaijan from Armenia’s Tavush Province

The opposition Hayastan alliance has intensified its stance against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's controversial plans to transfer Armenian border villages to Azerbaijan. Demanding a parliamentary debate on the matter, Hayastan submitted a petition to Speaker Alen Simonyan, citing concerns that Pashinyan's statements regarding the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijan border contradict Armenia's constitution and laws.

The petition calls for an emergency session next week, during which Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan and Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan are expected to attend and provide clarifications to lawmakers.

The border villages in question were previously occupied by Azerbaijani villages seized by Armenian forces in 1991-1992 and subsequently integrated into Armenia's northern Tavush province. While Armenia initially insisted on exchanging these areas for large agricultural lands in Tavush seized by Azerbaijani troops, Pashinyan announced on March 12 his readiness to unilaterally cede the villages to Baku.

This abrupt shift in policy has sparked outrage among many Armenian residents in neighboring Tavush villages, as well as condemnation from opposition groups. Former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan, leader of Hayastan's parliamentary faction, went as far as urging the Armenian military to disregard Pashinyan's directives, deeming them "illegal."

Hayastan and the second parliamentary opposition force, Pativ Unem (I Have Honor bloc), possess sufficient votes to trigger the emergency debate. However, the participation of Civil Contract party lawmakers, who support Pashinyan, remains uncertain. Their absence could effectively prevent the debate from taking place.

Pashinyan, meanwhile, expressed frustration over Baku's reluctance to acknowledge Armenia's borders during a meeting with Civil Contract activists in Artashat. Despite his efforts to establish dialogue, tensions remain over the proposed land transfer, with the issue poised to dominate parliamentary discussions in the coming weeks.


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